Flowing down the mountain

Flowing down the mountain

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Flowing down the mountain

By Ian Ferguson
Photo by Patrick O’Neil

John Adams, co-owner of Glacier Ski Shop, is pretty easy to pick out on the ski slope. You can usually spot him out on the Shuksan Arm or Hemispheres, and you’ll know it’s him by his shredly knee dropping and his custom, signature kayak paddle. Adams explained how his powder-paddling technique came to be:
“When skiing steep exposed lines I like to ski with an ice ax. If I fall I can lean on the ax and self arrest. This technique works especially well with Telemark skiing because the upper body is facing into the hill allowing you to simply drag the ice ax in a natural position. I found myself having a hard time switching back and forth between poles and the ice ax technique. Switching styles, especially during a scary decent was not working for me. I decided to stop skiing with poles completely so that the ice ax technique would start to feel more natural, but found it difficult to stay on my feet. I needed to ‘lean on’ something.”
A shortened kayak paddle fit the bill, and Adams hasn’t looked back. Makes you wonder – could ski poles catch on for whitewater kayaking? x